AsiaSat Falters as Competitive Pressure Takes a Toll

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SALT LAKE CITY — Satellite fleet operator AsiaSat of Hong Kong on Aug. 22 reported flat revenue for the six months ending June 30 after accounting for one-time revenue sources in 2012 and said the rest of the year looks soft given the competitive pressures in its home region.

AsiaSat said revenue and profit for the second half of this year are likely to dip following an agreement in 2012 to accept lower transponder-lease rates from a key customer starting this year.

But in a statement submitted to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, AsiaSat Chairman Ju Wei Min said the launches of AsiaSat 6 and AsiaSat 8, scheduled for March and June 2014, respectively, should boost revenue as the company enters new markets.

Ju said the Chinese television market, which is a principal target of the AsiaSat 6 satellite, looks particularly promising. AsiaSat’s business in mainland China up to now has been centered on telecommunications and data transmission.

Ju said the softening economies in East Asia are affecting many satellite operators, but that the region also has pockets of opportunity as some domestic satellite operators, many with only one or two satellites, are facing strong demand that they cannot meet. This, he said, creates opportunities for AsiaSat.

AsiaSat operates four satellites in orbit. The recently launched AsiaSat 7 will replace the AsiaSat 3S in 2014 but in the meantime is generating revenue from short-term leases, AsiaSat said.

The four satellites were 79 percent utilized during the six months ending June 30. AsiaSat said revenue for the period was 767.4 million Hong Kong dollars, or $99 million.

Profit, at 400.7 million Hong Kong dollars, was up 1.4 percent compared with a year ago.